The hosts files downloaded and installed by Host Flash™ automatically block access to nearly a million websites.
The 3rd party compilers of the downloaded hosts files use different criteria to decide which hosts and sites are bad and which hosts are undesirable because they serve content that is morally objectionable to some people or inappropriate for work and business environments.
Some compilers block sites because they serve malware or because they are known phishing sites. Other compilers block hosts because they host gambling sites, movie media, pornographic content, hate speech or because they are social networks that distract employees and students.
There may be hosts added to the hosts file compiled by Host Flash™ that you prefer to not block. Host Flash™ has an easy way to unblock sites and to keep those sites unblocked automatically when Host Flash™ is run.
Host Flash™ has an Unblocker
Host Flash™ provides an easy way for any number of blocked hosts to be automatically unblocked each time Host Flash runs™. This means computer admins can create unblock lists and never worry about manually editing the hosts file to keep whitelisted hosts unblocked.
Hosts can be unblocked through the whitelists in the Host Flash™ directory. These whitelists are whitelist.txt and whitelist-wild.txt. The difference between the way the two files are used by Host Flash™ is:
- Entries added to whitelist.txt are read and removed from the hosts file without removal of their sub-domains.
- Entries added to whitelist-wild.txt are read and removed from the hosts file. Their sub-domains are removed too.
- If example.com is added to whitelist.txt then the host unblocked by Host Flash™ will be example.com and only example.com.
- If example.com is added to whitelist-wild.txt then the host unblocked by Host Flash™ will be example.com and www.example.com and anything.example.com, else.example.com, at.example.com, example.example.com and so on.
Use whitelist.txt to unblock precise hosts. Use whitelist-wild.txt to unblock with less precision any host and automatically unblock all sub-domans of that host.
What About the TLD?
Host Flash™ looks in the hosts file it compiles for any host name that begins with the characters of any whitelisted host. When a blocked host begins with the same characters as a whitelisted host then that blocked host will be whitelisted, irrespective of the characters that follow in the name.
- example.com will match example.com.au and example.com.uk
- example.co will match example.com and example.com.au and example.com.uk
- example. will match example.anything
Any host name that matches the search is removed from the hosts file. This is true whether the hostname is specified in whitelist.txt or whitelist-wild.txt.
This approach to search and remove to unblock whitelisted hosts gives the advantage of wildcard TLD removal. The disadvantage is that some domains might be unblocked unintentionally.
Where are the Whitelist Files?
The files whitelist.txt and whitelist-wild.txt are stored in the Host Flash™ program directory; this is typically:
Host Flash™ is a flexible hosts file manager. That flexibility is a super power that needs to be respected. Always use the most suitable whitelist file or risk unblocking more sites than intended.
Rerun Host Flash™ after new hosts have been added to the whitelists.